Todd ‘appalled’ at Smith, Smola for attacks at BoE
Fayette County Board of Education member Bob Todd at a press conference Tuesday said he wanted to clarify some of the events that transpired at the May 4 board meeting where a verbal brawl occurred between him, board member Janet Smola and Chairman Terri Smith.
“I am appalled at the behavior displayed and I apologize for any part I had in it,” Todd said. “My concern is using board meetings for political purposes by me or anyone. Differences should be dealt with in a different type of public forum. Political behavior is not appropriate at school board meetings.”
Asked why he felt Smola and Smith were being political, Todd said, “Because they used my announcement for re-election to challenge me and question my ethics and honesty in an open board meeting.”
Referencing what he said were assertions made during and subsequent to the meeting, Todd gave his opinion on a possible ethics violation being filed by Smola over his not working in harmony with decisions made by the board.
“My concern is that I was elected to represent the citizens. When the board votes for stuff that we find out later was not in the best interest of the county we need to do what we can to fix it,” Todd said.
“I will support board decisions as long as they are made correctly. If I find out after the fact that we have made faulty decisions based on incorrect or partial information, then I have a moral obligation to bring it up. If the decision is irreversible, we need to find ways to make it better. We need to learn from our mistakes and do better the next time we make a similar decision. But we need accurate information,” Todd said.
Todd said an example of his position pertained to his vote against adopting the budget last year. His “no” vote came after the new teacher leader positions were created and after the state finally agreed to partially fund the school system’s national board certified teachers.
Those two actions, said Todd, put approximately $500,000 back into the budget and resulted in his vote against adopting the budget.